I've been asked to blog about parenting obese children and how to address the issue early on. Well, that's a pretty massive hornet's nest to tackle. This? This is one fragment of an answer, but given how much we know about processed food contributing to poor health, and how meals prepared at home are almost always healthier, surely teaching the skills needed to cook for one's self should be as mandatory in the curriculum as math and reading are.
If you choose to sign the petition (and I hope you do), this is what you're agreeing to:
The Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA) calls on the Government of Ontario to make at least one food & nutrition course compulsory.
Despite healthy lifestyle trends, there is growing concern about a general lack of time, knowledge and skills to prepare healthful, affordable meals at home.
Kids today rarely learn to cook. Families microwave a commercially prepared entrée, or eat-out en route to their next activity. Not a serious issue − until the habit becomes a frequent practice. And it does!
Many people can’t understand food labels, make a meal at home, stick to a food budget or reduce food waste. The irony? Those exact topics are integral parts of high school Family Studies curriculum.
Home Economics was re-branded Family Studies, years ago. Twenty new and revised Family Studies courses were released by the Ontario Ministry of Education in 2013. Several of these optional courses are Food and Nutrition related and need to be prioritized. Healthy eating must be a focus in all grades.
Whether destined for college, university or the workplace, all students need food education to put healthful, safe, affordable meals on the table. That’s a societal responsibility.
For more information visit www.food-literacy.ca
I took Family Studies in grades 7 and 8. No high school courses were mandatory, so I never took them. Fortunately, I had a mom and grandma who were pretty handy when it came to home economics, and while I don't put a lot of my skills into practice, the foundation is there. I don't cook because I don't enjoy it, I don't prioritize it (it's just me, no family, not worth the time and effort), but not because I don't know how. But a lot of domestic skills are dying out. When it's more convenient to pay someone else to do it, kids don't grow up having those role models to watch. Whether it's learning to sew, bake, cook, remove stains, administer first aid, or plant a garden, most daily life skills are hands-on. They don't have the opportunity to try, fail, and try again, with someone providing wisdom and guidance. That's where school comes in. Just as at least one Phys.Ed. credit, and Maths, English, and Sciences are required, I agree that high school students should have to take at least one Food and Nutrition course.
Because, as those cheesy NBC public service announcements taught us, "the more you know..."